Expert tips: The travel gadgets that are absolutely worth buying – Stuff

Excluding gimmicky travel accessories, there are some simple products that make a traveller’s journey all that much easier.

The Stuff Travel team have rounded up some of our favourite purchases that have stood the test of time. These are some of the products that we’ll never travel without.

Dual-prong airline headphone adapter

I thought I could avoid using flimsy, almost always broken airline headphones by bringing my own high-resolution cans. It was only once onboard that I encountered a two-pronged headphone jack, forcing my long-haul to be either a tinny or one-eared listening experience.

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It is said that airlines use the double 3.5mm stereo jacks onboard to deter passengers from walking off with their headsets.

I discovered years ago that an easy fix, without splashing out on Bluetooth headphones and a transmitter to connect to the in-flight system, is simply purchasing the lightweight adapter which converts your regular jack into two. You can pick them up for around $5 at electronics stores and airports. – Stephen Heard, travel publishing coordinator


An airline headphone adapter allows travellers to plug in their own headphones to the aircraft’s sound system.

An everlasting backpack

There are a few things in life where paying that little bit extra is worth the dent in the bank account in the long run.

A good pair of jeans is one, a coffee machine is another, and in my case, the extra expense for a hardy backpack has been a decades-long investment.

Alan Granville

The trusty backpack that has seen travel reporter Alan Granville move freely around the world.

Back in 1998 I decided to go on a year’s working holiday to Australia. As I was living in London at the time, I set off to the nearest outdoor equipment store and purchased a fine backpack for the princely sum of £150. In today’s money that’s more than £250 or close to NZ$500, which on a meagre journalist’s salary was a whopping investment. But boy has it paid it back. It’s travelled with me twice around the world, taken in the sights of Japan, Europe and the US, and been in every nook and cranny of New Zealand.

Amazingly, bar some minor patchwork, the backpack is still in pretty mint condition. – Alan Granville, travel reporter

A convertible travel pillow

I came to the conclusion a long time ago that there is simply no good way to sleep on a plane unless you have the privilege of a business class …….



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